40 Years: 1980 - 2020

Phil and Amy Mickelson Gift $200,000 to Special Operations Warrior Foundation


Phil and Amy Mickelson's compassion continues to make a difference in the lives of the surviving Gold Star families of Special Operations personnel who die in the line of duty and operators who are severely wounded.

The relationship between the Mickelsons and Special Operations Warrior Foundation began in 2004, when Phil and Amy created the Birdies for the Brave program. They chose Special Operations Warrior Foundation to be the beneficiary of this new endeavor. The Birdies for the Brave program has grown exponentially since that time and has provided life changing programs for countless military families in need of support. 

Jill Goetsch is the surviving spouse of Army Lt. Ben Colgan who lost his life in Iraq in 2003 while assigned to US Army Special Operations Command. They had two young daughters and one on the way, at the time Lt. Colgan's death. Grace Goetsch the eldest of the three sisters is now a senior in high school getting ready to attend Northwest Missouri State University, where she will play soccer. Her younger sisters Paige and Cooper are both in high school now. 

In Grace's words, "I want to thank Special Operations Warrior Foundation for everything they have provided for my sisters and me. They have given us opportunities beyond what we could ask for. Special Operations Warrior Foundation has allowed so many doors to be opened for me. Because of SOWF, paying for college is not something I need to stress about, instead I can just be excited for this next big step."

Over the last 15 years, Phil and Amy's heartwarming passion provided college educations to hundreds of children supported by the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Thanks to Phil and Amy children like Grace Goetch will have the opportunity for the college education her father would have wanted for her.

In the words of Steve McLeary, Executive Director of Special Operations Warrior Foundation, "We simply cannot thank Phil and Amy enough for the blessings they bring to the children and families we support." 

Their personal donations total $950,000 funding college educations for over 100 children. The funds raised through the Birdies for the Brave program have added another $2.4 million dollars for the education of the children of our fallen special operators.

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SOWF has been there since day one of my bachelor's degree.

They have always made sure I got what I needed for my living expenses as well as my semester expenses. They not only have given me financial stability when I needed it the most, but also moral and emotional support. If it wasn’t for SOWF I wouldn’t be the professional teacher that I am today. For every success that I made and continue to make in my life, SOWF will be there at the top of the list for all of the thanks and recognition that they deserve for helping me carve my future.

Steven Schmauss Read More
SOWF provided me with the opportunity to be more engaged

in my studies rather than worrying about jobs and extracurricular work to pay for schooling. In addition, I was able to invest my time in leadership positions which have taught me so much as a person.

Ryan Soltes Read More
I cannot begin to express my gratitude,

knowing throughout the college admissions process, that the financial burden of college was no longer on our family. I am forever thankful for all the incredible things SOWF does for military personnel and their families. I am proud to be attending my dream school, the University of Chicago, because of all the Foundation does to honor those who have given their lives. 

Forrest Haydon Read More